The latest Human Development Report on Sustaining Human Progress and Building Resilience

August 20, 2014 by Sandy Sanchez
Human Development Report 2014

The latest Human Development Report- Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience- by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sheds light on the broad spectrum of global problems threatening to undercut existing human development efforts and achievements. Every society is confronted with varying degrees of risks and instability, however, not all communities are affected the same way; nor does every group recover with ease after a state of emergency. The 2014 report outlines the structural and life cycle vulnerabilities that influence human development and impede sustainable progress, while presenting different ways to strengthen resilience against future shocks.

By taking a people-centered approach, the report puts people at the core of its analysis. It considers disparities in and between countries, focuses on the context of inequality of people and its broader causes, and thereby “identifies the ‘structurally vulnerable’ groups of people who are more vulnerable than others by virtue of their history or of their unequal treatment by the rest of society.” For instance, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, nearly 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are “multidimensionally poor with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards.” And despite declining poverty rates, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks persist.

“Capabilities accumulate over an individual’s lifetime and have to be nurtured and maintained; otherwise they can stagnate and even decline.”

For the first time, the report introduces the idea of life cycle vulnerabilities. Meaning it assesses the stages in a person’s life where disruptions can have greater impact. These phases include the first 1,000 days of life, entering the workforce and retirement. Periods like the first 1000 days of life are critical and setbacks during these junctures can have long-lasting consequences that hinder an individual’s cognitive development, healthy growth and future employment opportunities. The report cites a study that claims Ecuadorian children living in conditions of poverty were already at a vocabulary disadvantage by the age of six.  

Protective policies and institutional measures of support can strengthen community resilience to unrest and instability.

Building Resilience

The report shares six recommendations to build resilience against risks and future shocks:

1. Universal provisions of basic social services like health care, education, safe drinking water and sanitation. Access to these basic social services is rooted in the principle that their obtainability should be decoupled from an individual’s ability to afford them.

2. Address life cycle vulnerabilities

3. Strengthen social protection measures like health insurance, unemployment insurance and active labor and job creation programs. These measures not only aid citizens at the individual level during times of adversity, but can also help curtail a crisis’ spiraling effect at the national level.

4. Full employment leads to a more productive citizenry. The growing inclusion of women in the work force in underserved communities will help shift ‘value’ perceptions of girls and increase investment in their education and health.

5. Establish responsive institutions and cohesive societies

6. Building capacities to prepare for and recover from crises

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark stated, “By addressing vulnerabilities, all people may share in development progress, and human development will become increasingly equitable and sustainable.” The report’s strong advocacy for a more inclusive approach to sustainable improvements resonates closely with The Hunger Project’s work, which puts people at the center.  As the creation of the new development agenda following the 2015 Millennium Development Goals draws near, The Hunger Project looks forward to joining the conversation for stronger policies and social protection.

Learn More

Tweeting the 56th Commission on the Status of Women

February 27, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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Taking place February 27 - March 9, The 56th Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at the United Nations in NYC. Follow along as THP staff and like-minded organizations live-Tweet the events and join the converstaion with #CSW56 on Twitter.

Event: “A Life Free From Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition”

February 24, 2012 by Communications Intern
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Around the world, 170 to 180 million children are suffering from stunting, a medical condition caused by insufficient nutritional intake. In Save the Children’s recently released report, researchers suggests that malnutrition is a key factor contributing to more than one-third of global child deaths (2.6 million) per year.

The Great Microfinance Debate

February 22, 2012 by Marie Mintalucci
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In a recent article on The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog, Claire Provost weighs in on the international development microfinance debate. She reviews a new book on the topic and comes out with questions. Our Senior Microfinance Program Officer here at The Hunger Project responds. 

Meet Rowlands Kaotcha, Country Director THP-Malawi

February 13, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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We would like to introduce you to yet another member of our global team! Rowlands Kaotcha has been Country Director of The Hunger Project-Malawi since 2004. Each Country Director works closely with the Global Office, Partner Countries and local staff to ensure that THP programs are effective and tailored to the needs of people in her or his native country.

World Wide Wrap-Up - February 10, 2012

February 10, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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Our world is on the brink of change – change for the better. New policies, new ideas and new technology bring us ever closer to the end of poverty, disease and hunger each day. But with these rapid changes comes a deluge of information. To help vet some of that information, we at the THP Blog bring you a weekly/bi-weekly wrap-up of the world wide web of international development. Check out the latest hot topics.

Top Tweets and Tweeters

February 10, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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Feb 10, 2012 - This was a particularly active week in the international development Twitterverse. Check out your most-favorited tweets and our top retweeters!

5 Easy Ways You Can Make a Difference Today and Every Day!

February 6, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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Looking for ways to get involved with The Hunger Project? Here are a few easy ways to shop, search, share, design and dine for a purpose. Join us today and every day in empowering people around the world to end hunger and poverty.

World Wide Wrap-Up - February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
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Our world is on the brink of change – change for the better. New policies, new ideas and new technology bring us ever closer to the end of poverty, disease and hunger each day. But with these rapid changes comes a deluge of information. To help vet some of that information, we at the THP Blog will bring you a weekly/bi-weekly wrap-up of the world wide web of international development. Check out the latest international development hot topics.

Question for Readers: What Inspires You to Give Back?

January 28, 2012 by Sara D Wilson
As a reader of this blog we know you are a socially-minded world citizen. You give back locally and you may even give back globally. What we want to know is: why. Share your inspirations and reasons for giving back in the comments of this post. We would love to hear you!
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